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Innovation[X] Program

The Innovation[X] Program provides grants that allow multidisciplinary teams of faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs to work together to address complex real-world challenges. Faculty may apply for grants of up to $20,000 to facilitate year-long projects. The number of grants to be awarded depends on funding and application levels.

The Innovation[X] Program is an opportunity to engage a broad array of students in a transformative learning project and explore translating research into actions that will have an impact on the community, nation, and the world. Teams must consist of an interdisciplinary set of faculty members and a multidisciplinary team of 10-15 students, including undergraduate, graduate, professional/doctoral, and/or postdocs, from across the university. Proposals should demonstrate a team-based approach to a complex problem and include meaningful deliverables. These may include, but are not limited to, published reports, curated exhibits, workable data sets to motivate further research, marketable goods or services, or impactful solutions to community challenges. Projects may engage external partners such as private companies, government agencies, NGOs, school districts, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty Eligibility
  • All teams must have at least two leaders, one of whom must be an active faculty member. Graduate students, postdocs, or staff may serve as co-leaders alongside a faculty member.
  • Team leaders should represent at least two distinct disciplinary perspectives from two different colleges/schools, or from two disciplinary categories within the College of Arts and Sciences. See the following FAQ for details.
  • Any faculty member may submit a proposal, but only one proposal is required per project.
College of Arts and Sciences Disciplinary Breakdown
  • Beginning with the 2023-2024 application cycle, for application purposes we will consider the disciplines from the College of Arts and Sciences that fall under “Humanities and Social Sciences” and “Math and Sciences” to be separate enough units that a partnership between two of those disciplines would satisfy the requirements of the application. See breakdown:
  • Humanities and Social Sciences: Anthropology, Communication and Journalism, Economics, English, Global Languages and Cultures, History, Philosophy and Humanities, Sociology.
  • Math and Sciences: Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Geology and Geophysics, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Oceanography, Physics and Astronomy, Statistics.
  • Geography and Psychological and Brain Sciences will be considered under both categories on a case by case basis, depending on context. Please email with questions.
Routh First-Generation Partnership

In addition to our general call for Innovation[X] proposals on ANY topic, we have a new opportunity this cycle. In collaboration with the Texas A&M Routh First-Generation Center, LAUNCH is looking for proposals that explore or enhance the experience of the first-generation student at Texas A&M University. A member of the Routh First-Generation Center can serve as a Team Contributor for this project. Proposals in this track will:

  • examine a social problem with the commitment and support of recruiting or teaching first-generation students
  • and/or show a commitment to work with a team of students where at least 50% of undergraduates are first-generation students.
Team Leaders versus Team Contributors
  • Team Leaders: Teams must have at least two (2) team leaders. These can be faculty, staff, graduate students, or postdocs, and they are typically considered to be “PI’s” on the project. They take a major leadership role in the project.
  • Team Contributors: Teams CAN have contributors as well – other faculty, staff, or non-student members who will be INVOLVED in team guidance or administration, but will not be considered PI’s. Examples include external consultants, additional TAMU staff members, or advisors for particular subsets of the project.
Project Eligibility Criteria
  • Projects should bridge disciplines and areas of expertise.
  • Projects should be vertically integrated among levels of expertise and learning.
  • Projects should address societal challenges.
Proposal Elements
  1. Project information (Project name, Primary contact person, etc.)
  2. Estimated budget
  3. Description (Research question or Fundamental Problem, context, and proposed goals for project)
  4. Team leadership and proposed composition of student team (proposed number of undergrads, graduate students, and postdocs on your student team)
  5. External partners and/or locations
  6. Project details (potential travel, IRB needs, timeline, etc.)
  7. Collaboration plan (how team will function, milestones, format of team check-ins, frequency of team meetings, division of labor, etc.)
  8. Expectations of student participation and compensation (i.e. roles that will be unpaid, paid, offer research credit, etc.)
Project Selection Criteria

Projects will be selected by a faculty committee drawn from across the university. Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria.

  1. Interdisciplinarity: Does the project engage students and faculty across disciplines?
  2. Societal Relevance: Does the project engage in the solution to a real-world problem?
  3. Vertical Integration: Does the project foster collaboration across educational levels?
  4. Teamwork: Does the project foster team-based work?
  5. Deliverables: Does the proposal articulate clear and achievable goals within the scope of the project?
Student Selection Criteria

Funded proposals must follow these guidelines when selecting student team members.

  1. Teams must include a multidisciplinary team of 10-15 students, comprised of undergraduate, graduate, professional/doctoral, and/or postdocs, from across the university.
  2. At least 6-8 of the students must be undergraduates.
  3. Students can participate on only one (1) Innovation[X] project team.
  4. Students must participate in the project for both Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters, with limited exceptions.
Budget Guidelines

Budgets may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Graduate student support
  • Domestic and international travel support
  • Special research materials
  • Student travel
  • Budgets may not include salary support for faculty or staff.

*The maximum amount that can be requested from Innovation[X] $20,000.

If the proposal will be part of a larger funded project, please describe other funds to be used, so that the committee better understands the scope of the project.

Typical Application Cycle
  • Initial Proposals are accepted beginning January.
  • Deadline for Faculty Proposals is end of March.
  • Faculty Team Leaders will be notified by April 2023.
  • Student applications will be accepted through summer.
  • Student selection will occur late summer.
  • Projects must begin no later than fall.

I[X] 23-24 Cycle On Hold

The Innovation[X] Program has been placed on hold for granting funding for faculty proposals for the 2023-2024 academic year. We are no longer able to accept proposals at this time.

We will absolutely continue to promote the efforts of current and past projects, and hope to resume in some new iteration in the future. We will make sure to keep the Texas A&M community informed and aware of any new developments or news about the future of this kind of program with LAUNCH.

For questions, please contact Assistant Director Emily Finbow at

23-24 Faculty Proposal Application

“Being chosen for the inaugural round of Innovation[X] funding enabled us to take the idea of First Year Eats–that addressing food insecurity would improve student success–and make it a reality.  Our pilot this past year involved enthusiastic graduate and undergraduate student teams in gardening, cooking, ingredient stocking, and assessment, and resulted in data showing that First Year Eats made it possible for low-income freshmen to close the first semester grade gap with their peers.  This data and the framework we piloted are now part of proposals to improve and expand the program.”

- Dr. Sumana Datta
Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Executive Director for LAUNCH
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